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Beyonce Talks Art, Ancestry and Body Acceptance in Groundbreaking Vogue Issue

Beyonce’s history-making September issue of Vogue Magazine is here and in it she opens up about everything from her traumatic childbirth experience to her decision to commission the first ever African American photographer to shoot a Vogue cover in the magazine’s 126-year history. In true Beyonce fashion, she held much of the creative control over the issue. Instead of a doing a formal interview , she chose to write a personal essay, and used her influence as one of the biggest stars in the world to share her moment with the notable young  photographer Tyler Mitchell.

“Until there is a mosaic of perspectives coming from different ethnicities behind the lens, we will continue to have a narrow approach and view of what the world actually looks like,” she said of her choice to work with 23-year-old Mitchell. “It’s important to me that I help open doors for younger artists. There are so many cultural and societal barriers to entry that I like to do what I can to level the playing field, to present a different point of view for people who may feel like their voices don’t matter,” she said.

The iconic performer also opened up about her ancestral history and the discovery that her family was born out of the relationship between a slave owner who fell in love with one of his married slaves and how that knowledge changed her perspective on the relationships between men and women. “I come from a lineage of broken male-female relationships, abuse of power, and mistrust. Only when I saw that clearly was I able to resolve those conflicts in my own relationship,” she said.

In discussing her birthing experience with Rumi and Sir, Beyonce explains that her weight had spiked to 218 pounds and that she was on bed rest for a month before having the twins and that she ended up having an emergency c-section due to toxemia, also known as pre-eclampsia which can actually be life threatening. “I needed time to heal, to recover. During my recovery, I gave myself self-love and self-care, and I embraced being curvier. I accepted what my body wanted to be,” she said, noting that she is still “fuller” than before pregnancy and has a “mommy pouch,” but that she’s in no hurry to change anything.

Beyonce also talked about her art, her stunning Coachella performance, the significance of her and Jay-Z’s “On The Run II” tour, and her artistic process. “I am accepting of who I am. I will continue to explore every inch of my soul and every part of my artistry,” she said.

Click here to read the full Vogue interview.